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Moscow blames ‘foreign bots’ for crashing the city’s new digital permit system

Source: Meduza

Moscow residents can now register with City Hall to receive digital passes required to drive or ride anywhere in the capital or its surrounding region. (Or rather they could until the site stopped working shortly after it launched. City officials blamed the outage on a “bot attack against the server,” suggesting that it was orchestrated in part from abroad.)

The new digital passes will be required, beginning on Wednesday, April 15. They are necessary only for vehicular travel — not foot traffic though Muscovites are still technically restricted even when walking around outside. (City Hall has also exempted several professions from the new permit system, including soldiers, public servants, lawyers, journalists, and private security guards.)

To get a digital pass, local residents need to state the purpose of their travel (it can be work, a doctor’s visit, or “other”). Work permits are active until April 30. Other passes are valid for a day. Muscovites can request an unlimited number of passes for doctor’s visits, while other types of travel are limited to twice a week.

Digital passes can be printed, saved as screenshots, emailed, or even written down on a sheet of paper. The codes are active in the greater Moscow region, as well, and anyone visiting Moscow from another part of Russia is also required to obtain a digital pass.

Residents of the Moscow region (not to be confused with Moscow city) can get their passes through the government’s “State Services Stop Coronavirus” app (available on both iOS and Android). Beginning on April 15, residents will need the app to get a pass, says Governor Andrey Vorobyov.

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